Nissan CEO: EVs Are The Only Solution For The Future – Video Interview

MAR 5 2016 BY JAY COLE 34

The Geneva Motor Show is ground zero for all things automotive for Europe, and a major launching pad for new offerings – plug-in or otherwise.  So it was no surprise to see Nissan-Renault CEO (and Avtovaz Chairman) Carlos Ghosn making an appearance, and doing a little ‘show and tell’ with his company’s most recent hotness.

Carlos Ghosn: Electric Vehicles - The Perfect Solution Against Emission Problems (via Bloomberg)

Carlos Ghosn: Electric Vehicles – The Perfect Solution Against Emission Problems (via Bloomberg)

The IDS Concept (a 60 kWh, 200+ mile all-electric car that we feel is a thinly disguised look at the next generation Nissan LEAF), is one such European debut (details) that Mr. Ghosn attended this week.

And while on hand, Ghosn made some comments about the future of the plug-in technology – what it means to Nissan, the automotive segment, and the fact that VW’s recent emission scandal has accelerated the urgency to convert to a plug.

Basically, the CEO says that ‘Dieselgate’ demonstrated you can’t trust anyone, and that we need zero emissions to get serious about saving the planet as ‘zero means zero’:

“Without any doubt, because it has attracted the attention on the fact that even though the regulators are trying to do their best to say what is acceptable, and what is not acceptable, in term of emissions, there will always be conditions that the regulators cannot regulate.  So if you really worry about emissions, the only solution is the electric car because here you have zero emission, you have nothing to measure. 

On top of this, as you know, COP 21 has lead to the conclusion that we cannot afford to have more than 2 degrees of heating of the planet 20 or 30 years down the road, and this means more zero emission cars”

Check out the whole interview by Bloomberg above.

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34 Comments on "Nissan CEO: EVs Are The Only Solution For The Future – Video Interview"

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Ghosn is a smart CEO, best i could imagine in changing times for the car industry. He started with Leaf project in 2006, push EV sales of Renault-Nissan over 300.000, push autonomous technology and Nissan vision of electric cars beeing part of a renewable energy future is awesome.
Nissan Intelligent Mobility video and charging station of the future are missing here, or i missed it here at insideevs?
GM or other car manufactures have made zero thoughs about future like Nissan.

Robert Weekley

Alex, I guess you are referring to “other (Legacy ICE) car manufacturers”?

Or how do you fit Tesla Motors into your statement?

And when it comes to the future, it would seem Elon looked at it farther out even than Carlos, but he lacked the big bucks, the manufacturing factory, and a production team, back at the start of Tesla Motors, but that is being addressed steadily by him.

As far reaching as Nissan is, they as of yet, have not announced a North America Wide fast charging plan for long distance EV use. Maybe they will do so in Europe first?


Nissan has been the most aggressive OEM (non-Tesla) in developing charging infrastructure. The effort started even before the LEAF was released to the public.

Nissan has never had a road-trip worthy product to make use of a highway charging. They focused on urban/sub-urban charging, which would actually help LEAF sales.

Nissan also chose to work through partners, instead of owning the network, but that is just corporate strategy.


Also, looks like Europe is already complete,


Yeah, mean ice manufacturers. But also i like Nissans last vision in Geneva, Tesla didn’t have something like this.

First i think its a great idea not using NEW battery in powerwall like Tesla. Idea using old batteries is much better, first cheap and second the recycling thought. And what i miss at Tesla is V2G. Why not using all electric vehicles as a huge storage, cars stands most of the time and using them in a small area doesn’t affect the lifespan much. Its great charging EVs when overcapacity in the grid Evs, thats the future instead of switching of wind turbines or solar like in Germany. We need a smart grid.

Mark C

Hey Alex, Thanks for the links! I really liked the video of the Leaf going into the building.

Far cooler than Jeremy Clarkson driving a car into a library on Top Gear!


Alex, where will they get the used
Other than battery rental schemes which are rare and like go away soon as costs too much, the batteries belong to the owner, not Nissan, etc.
Fact is they are all getting scooped up by EV people making EV’s or re-batterying older EV’s or using in homes as backup power.
I have a Volt pack I’m putting in a lightweight EV for instance as the only way to get low cost high quality lithium now.


Actually, I think that Tesla and Nissan is coming at things from different approaches. The key difference is that Tesla has started with the idea of long-distance electric cars, and as part of that is driven to make batteries _extremely_ cheap.

From Tesla’s perspective, with aims to have sub-$100/kWh pricing, with iterative improvements in battery technology, using old batteries for Powerwall-type products really doesn’t make sense. Old batteries are in different stages of degradation, and so have variable remaining life. Plus, each old battery will have go through a process of collection, remanufacturing, distribution and installation. For home batteries, the relative ratio of those overheads to the cell/module costs would be relatively high, and unpredictable life and capacity would limit appeal.

In my opinion it’s in high-capacity _commercial_ products where cell re-use would have its greatest value. The overheads would be lower per usable kWh, and large businesses would have the ability to deal with hot-swapping modules on a regular basis.

Mister G

Hey Ghosn words are nice…where’s the 200 mile range EV for $35k before tax credits? 6 years have gone by and the latest LEAF only gets 109-112 miles per charge without a/c and in eco mode. If you want to save the planet we need a 200 mile “real driving” range, $35k vehicle yesterday.

mr. M

Hey Mister G,

go around a shout at people will help a lot, thanks for that.


Oh we needed it YESTERDAY, did we? Okay mr smart guy…


Nissan will only be behind GM in offering “200 mile EPA affordable BEV”.

I don’t think Nissan though 200 mile was needed when they first released the LEAF. Driving cycles and environment are much easier in Japan than the US.

I am guessing they replotted the plans after experience with the LEAF and seeing the Model S.

Battery costs have also fallen faster than anybody predicted 5 years ago.


If you really want to save the planet you could use public transport until your 200 mile EV arrives.


Mister G, if you look at the picture the 200 mile Nissan is behind him.
They just can’t say it so they can keep selling the older ones until it is
Just like happened to the Volt, Leaf as their new model was coming up, people were waiting for cut sales badly for months.

Mister G

You got a point there


Because if making such a car were so easy as you want it to be, they would have done it already.


Ghosn is a rockstar. I would work for him in a heartbeat.

Mister G

Musk is a rockstar…Ghosn is a street musician LOL


Musk is a better engineer, Ghosn is a better CEO. You can’t compare the amount of management each has to do. Musk said he didn’t want to be CEO of Tesla, but was basically forced into it.

Musk enjoys the technology/product development, not the running a big company part.

Read this to see what Ghosn manages.

Mister G

Musk is CEO of Tesla and SpaceX C’MON MAN…Musk is a rockstar


I hate to say it but by the time the 200 mile affordable BEV’s arrive, the $7500 in the US & £4,500 (already reduced from £5000) here in the UK will almost overnight disappear, leaving the goalpost moved yet again !

We need Tesla to start churning those batteries out at $100 kWh pronto !


Alan, they still have a ways to go in the US and they don’t disappear here, just get reduced.


I think Ghosn may be chosen by Elon to take over the day to day running at Tesla when he dedicates more time to SpaceX during the lead up the mars mission….
He really believes in EVs, he is not simply paid to do so. That and he is a great CEO, and has done wonders for both Renault / Nissan.


Ghosn is on the money. He just needs a team to execute the vision. It’s unfortunate that other car companies are beginning to leapfrog over Nissan.


I wouldn’t be so sure Nissan is falling behind. The battery heat degradation issues was a huge setback for them, but still offer the most range (non Tesla) in a BEV on the market.

Nissan plays their cards closer to their chest than other automakers. They won’t say what is coming until just before release.

For example, GM was plenty willing to show a relatively close to production Bolt 2 years ahead of time, and confirm it would be built. Nissan shows a 60 kWh concept but give it crazy doors and a non sensible interior, to keep their real plans under disguise.

Counter-Strike Cat

Nissan is pushing hard the Leaf now. New record sales in Japan for February: 2819


Really, what the hell. Where are the numbers from? Over 5000 Leafs in 2 months in Japan! Don’t get why Nissan not offer emergency braking and LDW in Europe and US. Perhaps Nissan thought already in 2017 they will offer Leaf with piloted drive 1.0, hopefully.

Ghosn seems to think that electric cars are inevitable. Ghosn is an ally and real friend of EVs, but remember that Ghosn is also CEO of a huge global ICE car company. While Electric cars are the main course for a guy like Musk, they are something more like a desert for Ghosn, who is also busy peddling gasmobiles as fast as Nissan can crank them out. It certainly wouldn’t hurt the zero emissions cause if there were more OEMs like Tesla and perhaps BYD that were dedicated to building EVs exclusively. No doubt the most satisfying electric cars are those that have been designed around the needs and unique capabilities of the electric drive train. Nissan was able to do a ground-up design while Ford, and others used the bolt-on approach where an electric motor is just bolted into an existing ICE platform. The world’s two best selling pure EVs, the Leaf and the Model S were ground-up designs. The “bolt-in” ICE conversions and compliance car only designs are way back in sales. “With a platform designed specifically for electric vehicles, Nissan LEAF will be introduced globally in the second half of fiscal late 2010 as the world’s first… Read more »

Why not get credit to GM? History will show that GM & Tesla were the true pioneers in EV technology.

After coming out the best PHEV, they outdid themselves with gen 2. They even increase the battery range, every 2 years, for the gen 1 volt. It’s been 6 years and no other manufacturer have come close to the original volt. The volt has a cult like following because we are extremely grateful to GM.

Nissan, on the other hand, has truly butched the whole battery degradation fiasco. Instead of fixing their mistake, they come up with half bake solutions. Yet, the EV community, who don’t even own a leaf, crown Mr Ghosn with a halo. Outrageous!


GM is killing Tesla direct sales, hamper chademo and not building a infrastructure, not building a EV since 2010, only a range extended Volt by putting some batteries in from LG. GM is an ice truck selling company nothing serious about EVs. In fact BMW is double serious about EVs than GM, they sell worldwide, they build infrastrucure with Nissan and developed a whole new concept. Bolt is only for show.

So critical and emotional… LOL “GM is killing Tesla direct sales” So what? Tesla is a competitor… GM would try to kill Ford and Toyota too if it can lobby a legislation for that. But it can’t. “, hamper chademo” Chademo sucks. ” and not building a infrastructure,” Why should car company build EV infrastructures? Do gas car company build gas stations? Tesla only build infrastructure for itself and nobody else. ” not building a EV since 2010, only a range extended Volt by putting some batteries in from LG. ” 1. What is a Spark EV? Despite its compliance nature, it is an EV. 2. What is wrong with LG battery? Tesla uses Panasonic and Nissan is using joint venture battery. “GM is an ice truck selling company nothing serious about EVs. ” Without the Truck profits, there will be no Volt, Bolt or Spark EV. Profits keep GM alive so it can invest in other technologies… “In fact BMW is double serious about EVs than GM, they sell worldwide, ” Because they have to. China and US are still the largest market that matters. “they build infrastrucure with Nissan and developed a whole new concept. Bolt is only… Read more »

Ghosn talks a lot. I want to see some actions. After about 6 years, US and China (two largest car and EV market in the world) only gets 1 electric offering from Nissan.

If Nissan is truly serious as Ghosn claims, then why hasn’t Nissan and Infiniti offer another PEV in the two largest auto/EV market in the world?

Talks are cheap. Time to back that up with some actions!

JP white

Yep. They’ve squandered the lead they had and are now playing catchup to the likes of GM and Tesla. Even Ford who’s EV line-up isn’t amazing has more vehicles and sells more plugged vehicles per month.


It will be a solution when we can afford it. And when you shut down you gas car lines will it be a Nissan committed solution.